GamingEGX 2022 - Final Thoughts

EGX 2022 – Final Thoughts

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September 22-25 brought four days of amazing gaming to London, UK in the form of EGX 2022. This was my first time at EGX. I’ll be honest, having read some horror stories from 2021, I wasn’t sure what to expect. However, I didn’t need to worry as EGX blew my mind. This was my first convention since the pandemic, and it didn’t disappoint. Four days of gaming bliss with like-minded individuals.

Queuing and Entering

Now, while I didn’t join the main queue to exchange QR codes nothing looked too disorganised or stressful this year. The organisers had taken up a whole hall for the queue and entry point which allowed for good crowd control and flow. The queue moved quickly, snaking back and forth until the gateways and past the usual bag-checking area, straight into the hall. I like events at ExCeL for this reason; the queue management is often so much better and far less cumbersome than some venues!

Convention Floor

The EGX 2022 convention floor spanned a couple of halls and had something for everyone. For people who don’t necessarily like big, crowded spaces, there were plenty of open areas to get a moment’s break. The space was laid out well with a lot going on! People put some serious work into their booths and displays and it felt special.

Wandering around it was overwhelming at first to try and find everything! While a lot of the bigger games or publisher booths were unmissable, some of the smaller indies were harder to find. EGX 2022 did have an app this year and I wish the map had been more interactive with the ability to pinpoint specific booths rather than generally zoning areas. Only a couple of times did it take longer than I would have liked to find what I wanted.

Walking down the central aisle it was great to see so many indie game areas, a careers area, smaller stage areas, bigger booths like Thunderful Games, Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty, Nintendo, CCL, ASUS, Call of Duty, etc., and a shopping area. Right at the far end, you could find a whole load of retro consoles and legacy franchise games ready to play and the main stage area.

I’ve been to a lot of conventions in my time and EGX was one that felt the most put together in terms of layout, space, and design.

Food and Drink Options

While inside the halls there were a couple of stands where you could grab something on the go, most of the food and drink options are in the main ExCeL walkway between the North and South halls. Prices, as you would expect are on the higher-than-normal side, but at no point did it feel overcrowded or impossible to grab something and find a seat. This is another reason why I prefer events here over anywhere else in London. I would suggest if you head to EGX in 2023, bring at least water with you to avoid the queues and spend more time gaming!

Games, Games, and More Games

Of course, the main allure of EGX is to get hands-on with games. Some old, some still in development, and ranging from indie titles all the way through to new AAA’s. EGX had it all. In fact, there were over 200 games available in some capacity to play! These were broadly categorised into different zones. You had a large area for indie games (a mix of released and in-development titles). A whole space for VR gaming, and then large booths for things like Thunderful Games, Sonic Frontiers, Street Fighter 6, and Modern Warfare 2. In addition, there was a PC open play area, a retro area, the TikTok booth had a load of interesting titles to check out, a whole section dedicated to Steam Deck, and finally arcade cabinets! All genres were well covered as were all platforms. It truly felt like a very diverse mix. One exciting area was titles being showcased by students of game design.

For a more in-depth at my favourite games from the convention check out the following:

Panels Galore

The show was packed with panels from morning to night (if you stuck around for EGX After Hours). Covering everything from the latest announcements to talks from developers about their projects or how to make it in the gaming industry. (I must say it was awesome to see the amount of content and options for students to attend as a careers fair!).

The two panels I attended were great fun. First, there was the celebration of one of the greatest gamers of all time – N64 GoldenEye. I can’t quite believe it’s been 25 years since the game came out! For more on the GoldenEye 25th Anniversary, including the panel, check out this post!

The other panel I attended was all about the music of Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy. If you’ve followed my reviews, you know this game was a perfect 10 for me (click here for my review to find out why!) Louise Blaine in conversation with the award-winning composer Richard Jacques was a special moment. Hearing more about the development of the game’s soundtrack was incredible. From flow charts to inspirations, the panel took us on a journey with examples to demonstrate how it came together. From creating subtle mood shifts in soundscape for when players make a choice to scoring cutscenes that you find by randomly deviating off the main path. The sheer amount of work that went into this project still blows my mind. Like the game, this was a 10/10 panel. Informative, funny, mind-blowing, and it highlighted a super-interesting topic within game development that I previously didn’t know much about.

Stand-out Stuff

A special mention must be given to some of the coolest tech at the convention. I coveted some of the incredible hardware on display at the ASUS/Ebuyer booth (one day maybe a Z13 will be mine!). I admired some of the awesome hard-pipe, liquid-cooled PCs knocking about.

The one thing that really blew my mind though was the SR Pro Display from Dimenco on display at the CCL booth. This was a stunning 32”, 8K monitor with a party trick like nothing I’ve seen before. At first glance, it just looked like a nice screen with Star Wars Squadrons loaded and a joystick hooked up. Sitting in the chair, however, all was revealed. The cameras built-in to the top of the screen started tracking my eyes and the depth-of-field began to shift. The game was now in 3D… a full VR experience without any goggles. I moved my head and tiny (unnoticeable) adjustments were made to ensure a fluid experience. This was an incredible experience, flying around an X-Wing in full 3D without anything additional required.

Final Thoughts on EGX 2022

EGX 2022 was a blast! It was jam-packed and while things got busy on Saturday (as you would expect!) it never felt impossible to get access to the vast array of games on offer… and let me tell you, there were so many games! Unfortunately, there was a lot on my ‘to play’ list that I didn’t get time for, but that’s ok. I went with a strategy, made use of the app, and got through most of it. Until next year EGX!

If you’re excited to attend EGX, the show is back on 12-15 October 2023 at London ExCeL! For more information, check out the website.

James Refelian
James Refelianhttps://linktr.ee/refelian66
When I was seven years old, I tried to write a spy novel. It was terrible; in case you wondered, but I’ve always loved stories. Then I got to play video games and suddenly here were stories that could be told in so many ways, coming to life in front of my eyes. I’ve been hooked ever since and enjoy games on pretty much every platform you can imagine! (Primarily PS5, Switch and PC (Steam Deck) with a lot of retro SEGA, Sony, and Nintendo). When I’m not gaming, I’m still writing that spy novel. If you love stories too, I hope my reviews and features help you discover something new! Find me on Twitter @Refelian66. Check out 60 Second Game Reviews on YouTube. Contact me with business inquiries at jamesrefelian(at)gmail(dot)com.

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